Kansas City Royals: Ned Yost is not a problem for the Royals

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 11: Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost
KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 11: Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost /

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost has taken the team from worst to first, yet some people oddly still question whether he’s a good coach or not.

I am not going to say that Ned Yost is the greatest manager of all time because he’s not, but to say he’s a bad manager is just as wrong. It’s unbelievable to me, after all, he’s done in KC you can still find people on Twitter who want him fired and say he was just lucky to take KC to the World Series twice.

The first excuse people will use to say why he’s a bad coach is that he has an under .500 winning percentage as a manager. That is a fact, through 18 games into his 15th Yost has career record as a manager is 1,090-1,148.

The obvious counter to this argument is that both franchises he took over where the consistent bottom of the league losers. In the two seasons prior to Yost taking over the Milwaukee Brewers went 124-203 and the Royals previous two seasons amounted to 140-184. Those are franchises that aren’t going to be turned around in one season, they had to be rebuilt.

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In both cases, he took those franchises from perennial losers to .500 ball clubs in his third season as manager. To put that in perspective for those of you who think that was easy or just lucky, the Royals have only had one manager who finished with a .500 season in the previous 20 season. That isn’t luck, turning around two franchises in three seasons is a pattern of a good manager.

So with the record aside, people on social media decide to pick apart every decision he makes and punishes him for not have a perfect 100% accuracy record. Everything from when a shift doesn’t work too when a pitching change backfires. The batting order is a specific one that gets brought up often, and specifically the choice to bat Alcides Escobar in the leadoff spot.

We’ve all been raised in the baseball world with what a batting order should look like. The fast on-base guy in the leadoff spot, good bat control guy in the two spot, best overall hitter third and the big power bat fourth.  Escobar clearly did not fit that mold we all have been taught. Well, guess what, the Royals being a successful franchise was also not something we all grew up understanding.

I’m not going to tell you that batting Escobar leadoff was the correct move and every team should bat Escobar style hitters in the leadoff spot. What I can tell you is that for the 2015 Royals team it was the right move and the proof is in the results. The Royals won the World Series with Escobar leading off, including the first pitch of the series that he blasted into left field for an inside-the-park home run.

Running H.DH. (Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Greg Holland) out there every day the way he did wasn’t the right move according to baseball history but nobody argues that move. Baseball analytics tells you to pitch to the matchup and not just one guy for one inning no matter the matchups. Yet since it turned into one of the most dominating bullpens of all-time people say it’s great.

People say Yost was just lucky in that he was the right coach of the right team at the right time. They’ll say the Brewers fired him because he could get the job done and yet they ignore that he got the job done in KC. These same people will praise Andy Reid and call it blasphemy to say he is anything but the greatest coach in Kansas City Chiefs history. One took a horrible franchise and won a ring and won took a team two years removed from a division title and only won one playoff game.

That’s the problem with saying Yost is anything other than a good coach, you are cherry picking the stats and times you want to fit your conclusion. If you are a Yost hater you are simply trying to keep a narrative alive that died years ago. I have no problem saying he’s made mistakes and he’s not the greatest coach ever. But if you take biases aside and just look at the man’s history, you can’t come to any rational conclusion that Yost is anything but a good MLB manager.

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As a good manager who has rebuilt two franchises, he’s the perfect manager for the Royals today. The team is rebuilding once again and starting over from scratch. Yes, this season is going to be horrible and yes #Yosted will become a thing again. It’s not because he’s a bad manager, it’s because he’s got a roster full of bad players who won’t execute. His job is to get these guys experience and keep their heads up and keep them getting better.

His contract is up at the end of this season and he could retire down to his farm in Georgia. If he does he should get a standing ovation at the end of the season and his name should go up in the Royals Hall of Fame as early as next season. However, if I was the Royals I would try to get him to sign up for two more seasons. I trust Yost with this rebuild more than any other manager and I hope he sticks around.